The British variant does not cause more severe forms, according to two studies

On the other hand, these two new studies confirm that this alternative is more contagious.

Two studies published on Tuesday confirmed that the “British” variant of the Coronavirus does not cause more dangerous forms of Covid-19, contrary to the results of previous research, but they confirm that it is much more contagious than previous strains.

The authors of the first study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, analyzed data from 341 Covid patients who were hospitalized in London between November 9 and December 20, with the 501Y.V1 variant emerging, which is now largely dominant in Europe.

58% of them were infected with this variant, also known as 1.1.7 and 42% with other strains. 36% of patients in the first group became seriously ill or died, compared with 38% in the placebo group, indicating that B.1.1.7 is not associated with greater severity.

High portability

However, the researchers showed that samples taken from patients infected with the variant contained, on average, a greater amount of the virus, indicating a higher susceptibility to transmission.

The second study, published in The Lancet Public Health, analyzed data from nearly 37,000 British users of mobile apps designed to report symptoms of Covid, who were diagnosed with the infection between September 28 and December 27.

Out of the number of people reporting symptoms each week in a given area, I concluded that the “British” variant has a reproduction rate 1.35 times higher, meaning that each infected patient is infected on average 35% more than the previously distributed people. Virus strains. On the other hand, the variant did not cause more severe symptoms or a greater likelihood of long-term symptoms (“long-term COVID-19”).

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Results to be confirmed

Commenting on the first study, three researchers from the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in Singapore indicated that its results contrast with three previous research papers, linking the “British” variant with a higher likelihood of death and acute forms. Covid.

They pointed out that the study published in The Lancet has the advantage of using the full sequence of the virus in its analyzes, but its “reassuring” conclusion must be “confirmed by studies on a larger scale.” “This study focuses on the clinical outcomes of a group of people who have already been hospitalized with Covid-19,” notes epidemiologist Nicholas Davis, however, cited by the British Science Media Center.

It “does not contradict the elements already collected through previous studies,” which tend to show that “B.1.1.7 infection is globally associated with an increased risk of mortality, hospitalization, and admission to hospitals.” Emergencies among all individuals who test positive for SARS adds. CoV-2


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